Together with ten other museums, Museum Catharijneconvent has launched the national educational project Feest! Weet wat je viert (Yay, holiday! What are we celebrating?). One of these partners is Groningen Historic Churches Foundation (Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken). The aim of the project is to stimulate social dialogue and mutual understanding between people. We were part of the project team, together with the Groningen Historic Churches Foundation and architectural firm MX13. Paul&Albert were responsible for the concept, design, and production of the depiction of the holidays.

Set in a medieval church
There is an impressive medieval church in the city of Garmerwolde, Groningen. Originally a Roman Catholic, cruciform church from the 13th century, it has a special feature: a free-standing tower with a gable roof. This tower has been set up to host the museum project. Architectural firm MX13 designed a unique 'Escherian' stairwell in the tower. The result is a fascinating blend of historical and contemporary architecture. 

Unique project
Going up the stairwell, visitors will find eight depictions of religious holidays, both Islamic and Christian. From bottom to top they are Christmas, Easter, Laylat al-Qadr (The Night of Decree) and Ascension. After Ascension, visitors are greeted by a magnificent view from the top of the tower. Once they've taken in the sights, they descend the tower past Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast), Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) and Whitsun. 

With these depictions, we want to encourage visitors to learn more about the holidays. They show the many symbols associated with the various holidays. These depictions aren't just educational – they're visually stunning, too. It has taken a combination of craftsmanship, technique, skill and perseverance to make our ideas come true. A truly unique project from start to finish – from Christmas to Whitsun.

Client: Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken
Concept, design: Paul&Albert 
Production: OpMaat3D, deFine and Studio Bijt.

Awards: Winner European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2021